Monday, January 13, 2014

I Live in Iowa: Week 140

The week that was… Having a wonderful 16 consecutive days of vacation seems to have permanently changed my outlook. For example, to be honest my new position at work is more stressful than my old one, after about nine weeks I still felt that I was not really "getting it". Yet, taking vacation and allowing my mind to wander and focus on other things, and dare I say refocus on the critical things in life, I feel much less stress at work or about work now. I realize I have only been back one week, but I think this is another development in where work fits into my life.

I feel that having some time off allowed me to realize how effective I am actually being in my new position. In other words, I had a hard time knowing if I was doing any good, but I now know I am doing well. That doubt is a scary thing. I mean not knowing if you are worth your pay can leave one with the feeling they will send you packing.

That is to say, my return to work is going really well. We are getting things done and I know we will get quite a few things done before I leave in April for the big E.

I only ran 38 miles last week. My right knee has had a patella femoral tendonitis (runner's knee) flare up so my mileage was lower because it hurts to run, and it hurts more the farther I run. Not terrible, I still had a nine mile run and a very very light 6 mile tempo during the week, but enough that it curtails my normal volume. Thus I have been in the weight room four days this week doing my squats, adductor, abductor, and hamstring exercises that worked for me back in 2006 when I had this. Plus, I'm running like three times the mileage I did when I had it that go around. In short, this too shall pass.

Coaching, it's good to get back to seeing all the student athletes. We lost a couple in the last few months and it can be hard when we put in hours and hours of time into kids and they disappear. However, the ones that remain still give us our largest distance squad yet and seem more committed than in years past.  It takes a long time to build a program. This is really good for me to see the team as a whole develop. The rest of the team is quite strong, this is one of those teams that is just very weak on distance runners.

What else? Everest, of course. I read a lot about it. I have three more pieces of equipment to buy. None are necessary, but insure that I have a little more warmth and safety than if I did not buy them. Unfortunately, death is a big part of mountaineering. While Everest is likely the safest 8000 meter peak (lowest death to summit rate of about 1%) it is the most popular one so the most people die on it every year (5-8 is pretty normal). Also unfortunately, people write about death on Mount Everest far more than the success and safe stories. So I have been reading about why and how people died so that I can minimize the risk to myself when I am up there. Here is a thorough article I read recently about ten high profile deaths.

I will likely mention this more in the coming months, but being in these places where death is common refocuses me. If there is something I want to do, I had better do it quick. Well, I want you to know I'm very blessed by God. To quote John 3:16 in the Bible, "For God so loved the world that he gave he only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." That sums it up. If I don't live to see June 2014, well then I guess I get to leave this world of suffering before most of you. My life and my time on Earth is insignificant compared to anything from God. To quote Ecclesiastes 1:2, "…Everything is meaningless." In part what that means is that all the things we chase after, other than God, are a waste of time. While I could expand on that more, you can come to your own conclusions about it for now.

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